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Nobles and commoners

Posted September. 05, 2017 08:50,   

Updated September. 05, 2017 09:07


In the West, royal families or nobles are called ‘blue blood’. A theory holds that the term deprived from the color of veins of the royal families whose skin was much whiter than that of the working class, who was exposed to the sun for their daily manual labor. In the medieval Europe, it was customary for the royal families to marry other upper-class families or relatives to keep their blood blue. It was only after the institution of monarchy came to an end in the modern times that marriage between royal families and commoners was allowed.  


Since the historic marriage between actress Grace Kelly and Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, Europe has witnessed the birth of numerous modern Cinderellas. In 2000, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark visited Australia to watch the Olympic games in Sydney and fell in love with a real estate agent named Mary Donaldson to eventually marry her, which is considered the most dramatic fairytale of all. In 2010, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married Daniel Bestling, former personal trainer, despite the opposition from her father King Carl XVI Gustaf. Now titled Prince Daniel, the former personal trainer has become a member of the Swedish royal family.

By contrast, in Japan, if a female member of a royal family marries a commoner, she loses her royal status and becomes a commoner. On Sunday, the Imperial family of Japan announced that Princess Mako, the granddaughter of the current emperor, is marrying her colleage boyfriend Kei Komuro. Komuro was once crowned "prince of the sea" as part of a tourism campaign promoting the seaside town Fujisawa. This is a modern fairytale where a real princess marries a commoner "prince" to become a commoner along with him.

In Japan, the first member of the imperial family to marry a commoner was Emperor Akihito. He married a civilian named Michiko Shoda in 1959 when he was a crown prince. There used to be a rule in Japan stipulating that royal families are only allowed to marry a member of either royal families or aristocrats. Even after Japan was defeated in the war in 1947, it was a tacit rule for the royal families not to marry civilians. With Crown Princess Mako getting marries next year, the number of royal families in Japan will be down to 18. With the princes graying while three out of four grandchildren being girls, the Imperial family of Japan is in deep concern.